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Weekly Release (2001 Outlook)

August 20, 2001

Looking for a return to the playoffs: There is great anticipation for the women's soccer season at The Evergreen State College. Although the 2000 squad managed just a 3-15-1 overall record, the team secured its first postseason berth in 11 years, along with having four players named to the All-Cascade Conference team. Losing just two players from that team has fifth-year head coach Arlene McMahon looking forward to the 2001 campaign. "Last season was a big success," said McMahon. "With the returning core players from 2000, along with a wonderful mix of incoming freshmen and junior transfers, I believe Evergreen has a great opportunity to win the Cascade Conference and earn a regional playoff berth."

All star on the prowl: The key to the Geoducks success in 2001 will be the effectiveness of its defense. Anchoring the back line is senior Janica Blasko (Anchorage, AK/South Colorado), a first-team All-Conference and second-team All-NAIA Region I selection last year. As a junior, not only did she record the Geoducks only multi-goal game with two rockets into the net in a 4-1 victory over Oregon Tech, but played a dominating role in front of the net. "Janica can anticipate the opponents attack and find ways to put the ball in the back of the net," McMahon replied.

Returner between the pipes: Along with Blasko, three-year starting keeper Nora Moloney (Bainbridge Island, WA/Western Oregon) returns for her senior year. Moloney, who was converted to the position prior to the 1999 season, showed marked improvement last year, including recording a pair of shutouts on enemy turf. "Nora works hard to improve her goalkeeping skills," McMahon said. "She will be a key to our success."

More on the defense: Although Evergreen lost four-year starter Brooke Fredrickson to graduation, the Geoducks have a pair of experienced defenders on the back line. A pair of seniors, Andrea Mikita (Englewood, CO/Newman U) and Amy Enser (Castle Rock, WA/Castle Rock HS), saw a majority of the playing time last year. McMahon is also delighted to have three incoming freshmen and two junior college transfers that can help the team up the middle. Look for true freshman Leah Humphries (Anchorage, AK/Chugiak HS), a three-time All-State selection in high school, along with transfer Brekke Holub Scottsdale, AZ/Saint Gregory's) to help stabilize the defense.

Options in the midfield: Early season games against perennial powers Seattle and Simon Fraser will be key opportunities for a new set of Evergreen midfielders. The Geoducks lost Shannon Doran, an All-CCC selection, to graduation, leaving a void in the middle. However, McMahon hopes the addition of some speed to the equation will be the answer. "Our options in the midfield are numerous," McMahon responded. "We have speed and skill and a good competition for starting roles." Four players - senior Lori Wieser (Elma, WA/Pacific Lutheran), transfer Jennifer Fahrney (Las Vegas, NV/ UNLV), along with freshmen Heather Gordon (Walnut Creek, Calif. / Acalanes HS) and Tiffany Fenster (Seattle, WA / Roosevelt HS) will battle for playing time.

The need to score: Along with a solid defense, McMahon is looking to add more of a scoring punch in 2001. The Clams return the scoring threat of junior Bethany Roth (Amherst, MA/Amherst Regional HS), but a new crop of players look to put crooked numbers on the board. "Bethany will be aided by Rachel Kempf (South Bend, IN/St. Joseph HS) and Vanessa Charles (Bainbridge Island, WA/Bainbridge HS)," McMahon said.

Tough non-conference slate The 2001 schedule begins with road tilts against Seattle and Simon Fraser, two teams ranked consistently amongst the NAIA's Top-25. Evergreen opens its home schedule against Morningside of Iowa, an NCAA Division II school, then travels to Central Washington. The non-league schedule ends against Pacific Lutheran, a team with a pair of NAIA national crowns. "Our goal is to play well and learn against the strong non-conference opponents to prepare ourselves for the Cascade Conference season," McMahon said.

The expanded cascade conference: With the addition of Cascade and Eastern Oregon to the Cascade Conference, an eight-team battle begins in mid-September. The Geoducks hope to move into the upper reaches of the CCC this season, looking to mix it up with Concordia and Western Baptist, the two top teams of the 2000 campaign. Four consecutive home dates to conclude the regular season will be an advantage for the Clams. "With the addition of overall team speed and skill, Evergreen will be fighting for one of the top spots in the Cascade Conference this year," said McMahon.

A playoff berth means?: If the squad qualifies for the postseason this year, it would mark the first time in school history that a women's soccer team had back-to-back playoff appearances. The Geoducks had previously qualified for the postseason in 1983 and 1989.

New to Evergreen Soccer: When coming to Geoduck games this year, fans will notice something different. Look for the new permanent scoreboard in the north end of College Recreation Center Field No. 4, home of the Geoducks.

Fore more information: For all press releases, statistics, and team information about every Geoduck athletic team, head to www.evergreen.edu/crc, the official website for Evergreen athletics.